There’s an increasing focus on higher education and while there’s definite merit, an expensive university-based program isn’t the only option, nor is it always the best option.
In a series of articles slightly different from the previous themes, I’ll be outlining how I’ve designed an alternate curriculum, “Applied-MBA” and how you can design a program based on your own needs. While I’ll be looking at a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) program equivalency, you can certainly use the theory outlined within and apply it to any area of interest.
Earlier this year, for various reasons, I set my mind on getting an MBA and as any MBA hopeful does I signed up for the GMAT exam. With a background in Engineering, and a subsequent grasp of logic, the exam was an easy Ace. Application and acceptance was also equally painless. I tell you this not to boast, but to outline that this route should be undertaken not because of ineligibility for traditional programs, but because you believe there is a better option.
After being accepted to an MBA program, but before the start of classes I began reading about alternative, self-tailored programs which provide equal if not better outcomes and opportunities to those seeking the knowledge and skills rather than a piece of paper. It should go without saying that, at ‘completion’ of this curriculum, there is no ceremony, diploma or initials behind your name. You are doing this for the knowledge and experience rather than an official credential. As such, it’s important to think about why you’re seeking this program and if a credential is required as it often is for initial employment.
The benefits of a self-tailored program are numerous but the cost and flexibility are foremost. The cost of a top MBA can easily exceed $100,000 USD, requires time away from work without pay and typically occur on-campus at a select few universities throughout the world. These top programs – in their on-campus format – do provide definite benefits but it’s up to you to decide if they’re worth the cost.
The drawbacks, though minor in my personal situation, may be significant to others and include a lack of official credential, lack of structure and no intrinsic alma-matter network.